Emmy Awards Receive Backlash As Bella Ramsey Nominated For Best Actress

The Emmy Awards have faced backlash after nominating non-binary actor Bella Ramsey in their Best Actress category.

The nineteen-year-old is nominated alongside Sharon Horgan for Bad Sisters, Melanie Lynskey for Yellowjackets, Elisabeth Moss for The Handmaid’s Tale, Keri Russell for The Diplomat and Sarah Snook for Succession.

Ramsey, who uses any pronouns, plays Ellie Williams in the show, which has been taken on by HBO Max, and is the first live-action adaptation since the video game wowed audiences way back in 2013.

For those that haven’t seen it yet, the series is set in a post-apocalyptic world ruled by an unstoppable, brain-eating, fungal outbreak that transforms humans into cannibals. 

​​Joel, portrayed by Pedro Pascal, is a ruthless smuggler who is responsible for transporting the young teen Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to a medical facility situated on the opposite side of the country after it turns out she’s immune to the infection, leading him to believe she could hold the cure to the deadly parasite.

The series, which premiered in January, has been met with rave reviews from both critics and fans, resulting in an unbelievable score of 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

However, despite the recent success of the series, it has been a bumpy ride for the nineteen-year-old since they were cast as Ellie, as many fans of the game were critical of HBO’s choice for such a crucial character in the show when the news of an adaptation first made its rounds online.  

But there’s no doubt that Ramsay has what it takes, as they have proved their talents prior to this breakout role. They were previously nominated for Best Young Performer at the Critics Choice Awards for their performance in the hit movie Catherine Called Birdy.

But despite this, it’s clear the negative press has affected Ramsey’s confidence when it comes to the HBO series. 

Opening up in a recent interview with the New York Times, Ramsey’s confidence appeared to be shaken by the casting backlash the show received prior to the premiere. They revealed to the publication that this led to them doubting their suitability for the role and even wondering if they were up to the job.

They told the outlet: “It’s only recently that I’ve accepted I am Ellie, and I can do it, and I am a good actor.

“But this will last for a few weeks and then I’ll think I’m terrible again. That’s just the process.”

During the interview, they also revealed something huge, opening up about their gender identity. 

Speaking out about how they identify, Ramsey said: “I guess my gender has always been very fluid,” adding that they identify as non-binary.

“Someone would call me ‘she’ or ‘her’ and I wouldn’t think about it, but I knew that if someone called me ‘he’ it was a bit exciting.

“I’m very much just a person. Being gendered isn’t something that I particularly like, but in terms of pronouns, I really couldn’t care less,” they concluded.

The star has opened up further in an interview with GQ, revealing that they wore a chest binder “90 percent” of the time on set “which probably isn’t healthy, like please bind safely,” they said. 

Talking about their identity, they shared: “This is what bothers me more than pronouns: being called a ‘young woman’ or a ‘powerful young woman’, ‘young lady,’ but I’m just not [that],” Ramsey said.

Catherine Called Birdy, I was in dresses. Young Elizabeth, I was in a corset. And I felt super powerful in that. Playing these more feminine characters is a chance to be something so opposite to myself, and it’s really fun.”

Ramsey added that co-star Pedro Pascal was “super supportive” when they opened up to him “We were just very honest and open with each other.”

They often had discussions about gender and sexuality. “And they weren’t always deep: they could be funny and humorous, the whole spectrum,” Ramsey said.

However, the star’s recent nomination as Best Actress at the Emmys has led to the awards coming under fire from some fans.

“Award shows need more inclusive categories for people with gender-expansive identities,” one person wrote in response to the news.

Another said: “Best actress’ for an openly nonbinary person who wore a binder the entire filming hahahahaha sick.”

Ramsey previously stated in an interview with NME that being nominated in the Best Actress category made them “uncomfortable,” and called for “more space” for non-binary actors to be awarded.

However, The Last Of Us show creator Craig Mazin recently revealed that he discussed it with the star submitting them for the category.

“I talk about everything with Bella,” he told Variety. “So, of course, we’ve spoken about this. It’s a really interesting challenge.

“On the one hand, the conversation about gender has transformed dramatically and in a very progressive and positive way.

“On the other, we have to practically make sure that by moving away from gendered categories, we don’t short-change traditionally overlooked folks… and we know that in non-gendered categories like directing and writing, women have been historically under-appreciated.”


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